Cooking Masterclass 2; Spinach and Ricotta Pastry Parcels

My cooking skills are now legendary and thanks to my Annabel Karmel book review post, I now have a few requests for the Being a Mummy household staples. Here I give you Spinach and Ricotta Pastry Parcels, the idiots way. Ideal for freezing, I use these as a finger food. However, the beauty is that you can also use them as an adults meal with vegetables or as a snack. In fact, provided you like pastry, spinach and ricotta you can do a million and one things…

You need:
1 packet of Spinach (I like to use the baby leaves)
1 packet of ready to roll puff pastry
1 onion
1 oz of butter
9 oz of Ricotta (or just a packet)
1 egg (if you can be bothered to glaze the pastry- I cant so I leave this out)

  • Chop up the onion.
  • Wash the spinach and stuff it all into a saucepan with some water, cook it up so its a sort of sludge
  • Melt the butter into a frying pan and then stick the chopped onion in and fry it.
  • Roll out the pastry and cut it into the shapes you want to create- strips, parcels, animals or anything else that takes your fancy…
  • Mix together the cooked onion and spinach
  • Put the onion/spinach and a dollop of ricotta into your pastry and squash all the edges together to create a little parcel (or whatever)
  • At this point you can either leave to cool before you freeze….
  • or cook at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes but I would check after 10 just to be sure! If you smell burning you have left it too long!

Cooking for Idiots: Masterclass 1; Crumble

Disclaimer: I’m a rubbish cook, but there are a few staples which I have found are very easy to make and can be used to impress the foolhardy.

Crumble
Description; A nice hearty British dessert which kids seem to eat. Probably as it requires little or no effort on the part of chewing and delivers a lot of sugar in one go. Basically, a load of stewed fruit, with a topping of butter, flour and sugar.

Stewing Fruit
Chop the fruit up (peeling first if appropriate), put into a bowl add some water (usually about a cupful) put into microwave for a few minutes checking to see progress. Voila.
I used the above blackcurrants harvested when I noticed the weight on blackcurrants on our bush causing it to be virtually a creeping blackcurrant bush. Oh, and I wanted to occupy the Toddler for a while. DON’T ever chose blackcurrants, there is a reason why 98% of British Blackcurrants are made into Ribena; They take absolutely blimming HOURS to top and tail , making every teeny tiny mouthful something you are obliged to eat. Obviously, because of this, children love them.

The Crumble Topping
Put some butter into a bowl. Then add some flour or/ and a handful of oats. Mix together with your hands in a sort of mushing together motion. Children love doing this, make sure they have clean fingernails though or you’ll have crumble tinged with luminous pink play dough. This might look funky, but it tastes a bit funny. Dump a load of sugar in the mixture and mix it around a bit. I use brown sugar, as this makes me feel virtuous. If you are anti- sugar, just sprinkle some on top of the mixture once you have put it in the dish on top of your stewed fruit.

Cooking
Put it in oven. Stop cooking when you start to smell burning, if the smoke alarm goes off you might be a bit late. But the provision of a steak knife should enable you to scrape off most of the burnt bits.

Eating
Serve with lashings of custard, cream or ice cream. If you put enough on it, people wont be able to taste any cooking disasters.

Happy cooking!